Somalia thanks UAE telethon for Dh165M in aid

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

The Somali government has extended its thanks to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after the latter’s 5-hour telethon last April 21 that yielded DH165 million in aid to Somalia.

“The Somalian government extends its gratitude to the UAE for the humanitarian work they are carrying out in Somalia, including well digging in the central region of Somalia,” said Muhammad Ibrahim, first secretary of the Somalian embassy, in a report by The National.

The telethon is part of a month-long humanitarian drive for starving children and their families in Somalia dubbed “For You Somalia” ordered by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Under the directive, the UAE is gathering donations for the food, water, medicine and other such necessities for the victims of drought.

“I was in Somalia several months ago and I witnessed sad stories there,” Ibrahim was quoted as saying. “There has been a drought there for the past five years, which led to an exodus from the affected areas to Mogadishu.

“There are hundreds of children dying due to the lack of clean water and spread of diseases. Women and children are the most affected,” he added.

“Ten per cent are dying every three weeks due to diarrhea, especially in the southern and central regions,” he said.

According to the United Nations, around 360,000 Somalian children may be suffering from acute malnutrition with half of Somalia’s over 12 million population threatened by famine.

This is said to be the country’s third famine in 25 years.